Update: Emergency plan enacted as Derry and Inishowen deal with flood disaster aftermath

The flooding on the Lecky Road last night. (Picture by Frnakie McMenamin)
The flooding on the Lecky Road last night. (Picture by Frnakie McMenamin)

An emergency plan including payments of up to £1,000 has been activated to deal with the aftermath of the flooding in Derry, while in Inishowen it has been confirmed that the road between Quigley’s Point and Carndonagh will remain closed for several weeks at least.

Officials on both sides of the border have begun assessing the widespread havoc wreaked on towns and villages across the north west overnight.

Fields flooded between Ballyliffin and Isle of Doagh on Wednesday morning

Fields flooded between Ballyliffin and Isle of Doagh on Wednesday morning

Derry & Strabane Council have just confirmed that it has activated its emergency plan and is working with relevant agencies to “provide urgent support and assistance to those affected” by the overnight flooding.

Persons whose homes or premises have been affected by the floods in the north and who are in need of assistance are urged to contact the Council on 028 71 253253 where environmental health officers will be available to assist.

A Council spokesperson said that environmental health staff will be on hand to advise on an Emergency Payment Scheme that is available to assist householders by providing up to £1,000 to help make their home fit to live in following inspections by Council staff on homes affected.

“It is important to note this is not a compensation scheme and that any compensation claims will have to be dealt with through householders and their insurance companies.”

The spokesperson urged the public to be patient and explained that all the agencies are experiencing a high level of calls.

The spokesperson added that the multi-agency response team are currently assessing the extent of the problem across the Council area and are in the process of setting up help centres at the YMCA in Drumahoe and the Eglinton Community Centre after they were identified as problem areas.

These help centres will be staffed with representatives from various agencies offering advice and assistance in terms of the supports available.

With regard to the City of Derry Airport – as a result of the flooding, all flights in and out of the facility have been cancelled for today. Passengers are advised not to come to the Airport but to contact their airline directly.

A number of cars which were parked at the airport are also understood to have been damaged.

Meanwhile in Inishowen, widespread road closures remain in place.

Donegal County Council has said that since the rain stopped overnight, the Council’s roads staff have been taking stock of the damage,

A spokesperson said: “Two bridges have been completely washed away either side of Quigley’s Point on the R238 and the R240. The Cockhill Bridge has been closed (R238 north of Buncrana) as has the local road from Drumfrees (North Pole Pub) to Clonmany however it is expected that both of these will reopen shortly following some clean up works.

“Council staff are working to get one operational lane repaired on the R238 between Quigley’s Point & Muff and it is hoped to reopen this road with traffic lights. In the meantime a short local diversion is in place. This diversion is not suitable for HGVs or large volumes of traffic so motorists travelling to north Inishowen are advised to travel via Buncrana until further notice.

“The R240 between Quigley’s Point and Carndonagh at the Riverside Pub will need a new bridge constructed and is likely to remain closed for a number of weeks at least.

“Reports are also just coming in of a bridge collapse on the R244 between Carndonagh and Drumfrees approx three miles from Carndonagh. Further updates will be made available.

“Road users are being asked to take extreme care when out and about today and members of the public who require assistance including emergency accommodation should contact the Council on 074 91 53900 or out of hours at 074 91 72399.”